Chembio Diagnostics (CEMI) Enters Exclusive Distribution Agreement with Isla Lab Caribbean

August 18, 2016 8:51 AM EDT
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Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEMI) announced that the Company has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Isla Lab Caribbean, which covers twenty-five nations in the Caribbean, excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The exclusive distribution agreement with Isla Lab Caribbean initially includes Chembio’s current products, which have met regulatory requirements to be marketed and sold in the Caribbean region: DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay, DPP® Micro Reader, DPP® HIV 1/2 Assay, DPP® HIV/Syphilis Assay, HIV 1/2 STAT-PAK® Assay, STAT-VIEW® HIV 1/2 Assay, and Chagas STAT-PAK® Assay. The agreement also includes future Chembio products, which are pending regulatory approval or in development, such as: DPP® Chikungunya IgM/IgG Assay, DPP® Dengue IgM/IgG Assay, and DPP® Zika/Chikungunya/Dengue IgM/IgG Combination Assay.

Chembio’s newest product, the DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay detects antibodies from a 10uL fingerstick sample and provides quantitative results in 20 minutes, using the Company’s patented Dual Path Platform (DPP®) technology. The DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay is the first POC Zika test to obtain CE mark, which allows Chembio to commercialize the test in 17 European countries as well as the Caribbean nations.

John Sperzel, Chembio's Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are thrilled to expand the availability of our products through this exclusive distribution agreement with Isla Lab Caribbean, the largest diagnostics distributor in the Caribbean region, which represents a number of the most respected diagnostic companies in the world. Many of the tests we are developing on our patented DPP® technology are for the detection of viruses that are endemic in the Caribbean region, such as Dengue, Chikungunya and the Zika virus. The Caribbean region is experiencing widespread Zika virus transmission and we look forward to introducing the DPP® Zika IgM/IgG Assay and DPP® Micro Reader, the first POC Zika diagnostic test to be sold in the Caribbean, to help combat this serious public health crisis which is affecting Caribbean residents, including pregnant women, as well as travelers.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), viruses like Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika are present throughout the Caribbean region. As of August 11, 2016, the CDC identified the following Caribbean countries and territories with active Zika virus transmission: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), there are also approximately 250,000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean, a region which has the second-highest prevalence of HIV in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa.

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